Could my employer's match have caused me to have an excess 401K contribution?

For 2020, I contributed the maximum into my 401k-Roth, $19,500. I also made a catch-up contribution (I'm eligible) to my 401k-traditional of $6500 for 2020. So I believe that's the max I'm allowed to contribute to my 401K, 26K. Is that correct?

Now I see that my employer contributed a match amount of about $4k. Is that $4k now considered an excess contribution because it pushes me over the $26K limit?

I don't have the 401k anymore (left the company), all rolled out into IRAs (Roth and traditional).

If the employer match is an excess contribution, can I take the money back out of my IRA? If so, can I take it from either my Roth IRA or my traditional IRA. Then would I need to make some sort of adjustment in wages?


2 Answers 2


The limit of $19,500 (plus an additional $6,500 for those 50 and over, for a total of $26,000) only applies to employee pre-tax contributions to Traditional 401(k) and employee contributions to Roth 401(k). It does not apply to employer contributions nor to after-tax contributions to Traditional 401(k) (the latter is the basis for the "mega-backdoor Roth IRA contributions").

There is a higher limit of $57,000 (plus an additional $6,500 for those 50 and over, for a total of $63,500) for all employee and employer contributions for you, and employer contributions and after-tax contributions to Traditional 401(k) are subject to this limit, but you are nowhere close to hitting this limit.

(All numbers are for 2020 tax year.)


No. Only your contribution counts to the limit.

What they contribute is affected by their limit and their rules.

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